I picked up the local newspaper when I was in Lincoln on Sunday. In it I read an article by Tom Ryan about hiking with his dog Atticus. Ryan said that hiking is not about bagging a peak and heading back down. Hiking is about the journey of getting to the top and somehow finding your way home. It’s about being somewhere that isn’t as safe as your living room.
The article reminded me that every time I am about 5 minutes from a trailhead I’m scared. As I get closer to the start I get really nervous about getting lost, kidnapped, killed. All the irrational fears appear. Maybe not all irrational because I do watch, listen and read the news. All my outdoor activities take me out of my comfort zone. Not knowing the outcome is hard for a control freak – and let’s be honest – we are all control freaks.
I always forget about that fear as I’m planning the next hike. The feeling is similar to fear I have prior to flying and traveling to a new place; thinking of all the bad things that could happen.
What I like about Tom Ryan’s article is how he loved the end of day when he was simply exhausted and fell asleep getting ready for bed. That is a great feeling.
At the end of Sunday’s hike, that didn’t result in bagging another 4,000 peak, I stopped at the One Love Brewery. I’ve been meaning to go there just because I love the name. They can your choice of beer behind the bar. I chose the Octoberfest beer.
After hiking for 12 miles hike with my dog on a trail that meandered into a wilderness, I got home safely, I enjoyed a One Love beer and fell asleep exhausted. It was a good day.
We met Kendra and her boyfriend at Kettlehead and had a great time trying new beers. I had the Shuttlebus Rye IPA and the others tried flights of different beer. I forgot to take a picture of us.
Then Jeff I I headed north to hike off the calories to find that the trail we were hoping to hike was closed: Rattlesnake Mountain. Bummer. So we decided to drive to Meredith, get some coffee and walk around. This is the southern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee and normally it is bumper to bumper traffic, according to Jeff.
But it is March so there wasn’t much traffic. The day was sunny and in the 50s. A perfect day for a road trip.
Then we headed to Bristol to find the Woodman’s Brewery, a very rural-type tap room. We lost cell service in Bristol and need to actually ask for directions. Once we found it – it was indeed rural up a hilly paved road, then the driveway was a hilly-muddy dirt round. I had the Subaru so we made it just fine. And, boy, was it worth it.
The people were fantastic and I was able to bring Winnie inside.
It was a good road trip followed by some great Vegan food at Hermanos back in Concord.
Today, Sunday, I spent the morning with my parents, went to church with my Mom and then we walked on the beach in Rye. It was the first time I can remember that there were big seashells on the sand. I brought a few home to remember the day.
My adventure to Western Maine was so much fun. I started the drive east through Wolfeboro, which I’ve never driven through and then into Ossipee and small towns in western Maine I’ve never seen. My GPS offered the fastest route which included small town roads off the beaten path that at times scared me so much with the thought of losing service and not knowing where the heck I was.
The initial destination was the Norway Brewing Company but when we got there at noon they were serving brunch and had no vegetarian options so the second (and best) choice was Cafe Nomad just down the street. We stopped in to the bike shop where Brad used to work and they were busy! The Green Machine Bike Shop on Main St.
Cafe Nomad had the best beer (Maine Beer Company, Lunch) and I had Nomad burger, a bean veggie burger – delicious combination. Brad had the cuban sandwich.
Then we drove north to see Brad’s new house and snowshoed around his property.
It is such a great feeling to connect with friends that you haven’t seen in so long. Brad is his same silly self and still loves to walk slowly in the woods and see everything.
There was still so much snow in the woods and snow squalls came in from the east as we hiked around. Winnie loved running around the steep snow and was exhausted, sleeping the entire ride home.
I drove home the northern route, through Gorham and Jefferson, down through Franconia Notch. Northern New Hampshire is so beautiful and I want to get to know it again after being away for so long. I still have some mountains to climb.